In honor of the recent popularity of zombies in popular culture I felt like writing a post about them. Zombies, if you don’t know, are mindless decaying corpses that wander around seeking living human beings to devour. Once bitten by a zombie you are infected with the virus and will soon become one of them. Zombies are essentially dead people that are still living. Spiritual we can find ourselves in much the same danger.
Much debate goes back and forth about the amount of our salvation that is by grace and the amount that comes from works. Two Biblical writers seem to be at odds about this. Paul proclaims frequently that we are saved by grace through faith. James fires back that faith without works is dead. There appears to be a contradiction. To say one or the other is right and the other wrong is to call in to question the doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Bible. Both have to be correct. That is where zombies are helpful.
Christians that have accepted Christ as their savior yet display no change are like zombies, human corpses that are still living. They have become alive and animated, yet there is really nothing human about them, other than having a human body. Zombies are easy to recognize when compared with fully alive humans. The slow dragging walk, vacant stare, and decaying flesh show it clearly.
When a person becomes a Christian he or she has a new changes. No longer are they simply a sinner. Now they are justified, reconciled to God, adopted a his child, and filled with the Holy Spirit. They are a new creation. Like Pinocchio, they are turned from a wooden puppet to a real human being. However, just because a Christian is a new creation doesn’t mean they will always act like it. In fact, living like you did before is even worse now. Before it was your nature, now to live in that way is unnatural, like a walking corpse. Salvation is by grace through faith, but without works we are the living dead.
If you have been in church for any amount of time have seen these zombies. Christians in name, but in actual practice, dead. As with most zombies, Christian zombies wreaking havoc. They stumble around causing destruction and spreading decay. Instead of running from these zombies, they need our love. We know how at time parts of our lives have been infected, when we have been less than our identity in Christ. They need to be encouraged to become fully alive.
Christ came not just to make us come to life, but to live. That is one of the things I find so beautiful about Christianity. Being saved from hell and sin was just one part of Christ’s death on the cross. It was only through his death and resurrection that we can truly live.